The Boy Scouts of America are considering filing for bankruptcy, according to a report released Wednesday.
The Wall Street Journal states leadership of the youth organization, mired in sexual misconduct litigation, hired the law firm Sidley Austin LLP to explore a wide range of options, including petitioning for relief under Chapter 11.
On Wednesday, Boy Scouts CEO Michael B. Surbaugh released a statement in response to the Journal‘s report, saying, “We are working with experts to explore all options available to ensure that the local and national programming of the Boy Scout of America continues uninterrupted.”
“As you all know, we have always taken care of victims we believe them, we believe in fairly compensating them and we have paid for unlimited counseling, by a provider of their choice, regardless of the amount of time that has passed since an instance of abuse,” Surbaugh added.
Legal experts note filing for bankruptcy would “stave off” at least 140 lawsuits filed against the organization alleging misconduct by scoutmasters.
The Boys Scouts of America has undertaken rebranding efforts this year, announcing in May that the nonprofit would rename itself “Scouts BSA” in 2019. In May, the Boys Scouts of America announced girls will be allowed to join the group next year. “We wanted to land on something that evokes the past but also conveys the inclusive nature of the program going forward,” Surbaugh said at the time of the announcement. “We’re trying to find the right way to say we’re here for both young men and young women.”